Things you need to know about LED when starting in Virtual Production
Do you want to learn more about “xR”?
Virtual production technology has taken flight over the last year, fueled by the success of Disney’s The Mandalorian series and the impact of the covid-19 measurements for both film productions and live events. xR is rapidly becoming the virtual production method of choice for film and broadcast.
Being involved from the start in this innovative technology, we recognize that it takes time and dedication, and a lot of knowledge to do this right the first time. Looking to support those interested in engaging in this business field, we dive into LED technology basics in relation to virtual production. We hope to help you find the right solution and focus on the type of technology you need for your application.
Starting with some basic principles, our goal is to provide a clear overview of what is needed without falling into technological hogwash that no one understands.
"It’s wise to discuss this with your LED provider beforehand to ensure all the individual LED panels perform and look exactly the same"
Efficient working method
One of the primary differences between virtual production and green-screen technology is that the post-production workflow has become pre-production and even on-set workflow, thereby significantly diminishing time-consuming and costly post-production clean-up work. Creating a virtual studio and a virtual background is a large investment. Still, most of the work generally done in post-production or on location can now be in a virtual studio, enabling faster and more efficient workflow. While there are other types of virtual production, with or without green-screen technology, we will focus on virtual production using live LED walls.
Live LED Wall In-Camera
The use of image output from real-time engines to a live LED wall in combination with camera tracking to produce final-pixel imagery, completely in-camera, represents the state-of-the-art for virtual production. The benefits of live imagery projected behind the actors are massive. In some respects, it’s also the culmination of all of the previous development work done in the sphere of virtual production. The quantum leap of using a real-time engine to create imagery for LED wall projection is that unlike rear-projecting pre-rendered footage, the imagery shifts in perspective, creating perfectly synchronized parallax to the camera. As a result, the imagery is so real, it’s difficult to tell where the live-action ends, and the screen takes over.
Virtual production – many assets, even more technology
Virtual production is, by nature, heavily relying on technology. This requires in-depth knowledge and experience with all the facets and elements that come into play, so you need to look for a team that covers the broad spectrum of LED technology, lighting, camera, media server, motion tracking, real-time visualizer, etc.
Partnering is important
ROE Visual partners with all the leading players in the field of virtual production. This is not by accident. Only by combining our knowledge, endless testing, and syncing the equipment used optimal results can be achieved. ROE Visual is proud to partner with ARRI, disguise, Lux Machina, and Epic Games (Unreal Engine), and many companies and individual technicians who have contributed to making this technology successful.
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PLAZAMEDIA and ARRI engage in a unique pilot project. Working on innovative and diverse mixed reality applications in a state-of-the-art studio, both companies aim to optimize complex mixed reality technology practically for TV productions. ROE Visual LED screens and GhostFrame technology are part of the pilot project.
ROE Visual and Breda University of Applied Sciences are opening a virtual production research center to enhance knowledge about virtual production and XR stages for an upcoming generation of content creators, enabling students to work in a full-fledged XR stage environment.
The fourth season of Star Trek: Discovery Paramount+ streaming series and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, recently wrapped shooting on Pixomondo’s flagship virtual production stage in Toronto. Both series employed virtual background environments displayed on the vast ROE Visual LED volume at PXO’s new facility.